Writing about Sunshine's cranky demeanor and posturing was fun, and accepting the fact that we needed to find him a new home came easily. Leaving him behind, taking him far from his home and hens, was very hard indeed. In the truck, Alex sat beside Sunshine and spoke to him in calming tones. For the first few miles Sunshine crowed and paced a tight circle in the little cage. He was soon quiet, resigned, it seemed. And that is when I started to feel reluctant. He has only ever threatened to do harm, and that's his job after all.
The woman at the feed store was genuinely impressed with him. "He really is the best looking Rhode Island Red I have ever seen," she said. And she praised the boys for doing a fine job of raising him. She told them she could tell that they had taken very good care of him. She said all the things that we could hope to hear for our pride and reassurance. But everything she said made me want to scoop him up and head for home. He is handsome, and healthy, and wonderful.
She introduced us to silkies. She let us hold a small, fluffy white rooster. He was as tame as a mild kitten and funny looking too. And when Max was fearful of him, it was a good reminder of why we needed to let Sunshine go. Max has definitely been the most intimidated by our rooster and we don't want him to live with that fear any more. We have the option to return to the store and bring home a silky chick; silly little things, with feathered feet and purple cockscombs. It might be fun to have a freaky feathered fowl, but first I think we'll have to finish saying good bye to Sunshine, our very first rooster.